Cool As A Cucumber
John Gay Quote
Who has the ability to remain calm in the face of fear or failure? Such an individual could be described as an unflustered level headed person who is unflappable in a crisis. Cool as a cucumber is an expression that aptly fits the bill of such said person.
Cool As A Cucumber Origins
The origins of this phrase date back to 1732 when the British poet John Gay penned a poem called New Song on New Similies. The third verse contained an immortal line that would become a famous idiom:
"If Molly were but kind; Cool as a cucumber could see The rest of womankind".
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An Ideal Idiom
The cucumber is an unusual vegetable because, even in hot climes, its inner flesh is cooler than the outside air temperature. The phrase cool as a cucumber serves the purpose of being a factual and rather apt allusion of transparent context. The four words when combined form an ideal idiom.
As an adjective, the word cool is often used as a modern day cultural term to describe someone who is perceived to be fashionable or aesthetically attractive. Rock stars, actors, models and sporting heroes are oft placed on a pedestal of cool. Many of these people are diva's undeserving to take the leap to the idiom cool as a cucumber.
Genuinely cool people do not seek approval from their peers. Generally they are reserved because they have confidence in themselves. They do not need the reassurance of recognition through social validation. Social media famous people can be seen as cool but 9.9 times out of 10 this is a facade of illusion designed to send a vibe of positivity to an audience of the easily impressed.
People who really are cool as a cucumber seldom have an army of fans because they have no need to play to the crowd. There is no need to act. Their modus operandi radiates through their inner circle and not through any perceived need to conform to the conventions of any sycophantic groups. A cool head is imperturbable.
Whilst the word cool is associated with calmness, its antonym heat is often used to depict difficult circumstances where tempers are frayed.
The expression heat of the moment describes an escalating situation that has the potential to turn explosive. A heated exchange is when two or more hot headed people lose composure and the discourse grows ever louder as tempers reach breaking, or more pertinently, boiling point. The term makes my blood boil describes a situation that causes agitation with an allusion of anger.
What Is The Secret Of The Imperturbable Man?
Cool as a cucumber is not the same as laughing in the face of fear. The secret of the imperturbable man cannot be found in the culture of courage. Courage in the face of fear is learned through experience or sheer bloody-minded determination to face whatever adverse situation come what may.
Courage, in this context, brings to mind the John Wayne quote :
"Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway". This is displaying the virtue of persistence using an unyielding shield of admirable psychological strength.
The secret of the imperturbable man lies in his capability to be calm, collected, confident and composed when staring the face of fear or failure in the eye. Meaning someone who can maintain emotional control in exceptionally challenging circumstances. This is what it means to be imperturbable, or to put it more succinctly, cool as a cucumber.
Article By: Michael Joseph Farrelly
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